Demanding occupations and the retirement age

Niels Vermeer, Mauro Mastrogiacomo, Arthur Van Soest*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We analyse unique Dutch survey data on the public's opinions on what are demanding occupations, on whether it is justified that someone with a demanding occupation can retire earlier, and on the willingness to contribute to an earlier retirement scheme for such occupations through higher taxes. We find that the Dutch think that workers in physically demanding occupations should be able to retire earlier. A one standard deviation increase in the perceived demanding nature of an occupation translates into a twelve months decrease in the reasonable retirement age and a 30 to 40 percentage point increase in the willingness to contribute to an early retirement scheme for that occupation. There is some evidence that respondents whose own job is similar to the occupation they evaluate find this occupation more demanding than other respondents, but respondents are typically also willing to contribute to early retirement of demanding occupations not similar to their own. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-170
Number of pages12
JournalLabour Economics
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • Retirement age
  • Public pensions
  • Job characteristics
  • Physical job demands
  • Health problems


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